444 Works

Data from: Bayesian methods outperform parsimony but at the expense of precision in the estimation of phylogeny from discrete morphological data

Joseph E. O'Reilly, Mark N. Puttick, Luke Parry, Alistair R. Tanner, James E. Tarver, James Fleming, Davide Pisani, Philip C. J. Donoghue & Alastair R. Tanner
Different analytical methods can yield competing interpretations of evolutionary history and, currently, there is no definitive method for phylogenetic reconstruction using morphological data. Parsimony has been the primary method for analysing morphological data, but there has been a resurgence of interest in the likelihood-based Mk-model. Here, we test the performance of the Bayesian implementation of the Mk-model relative to both equal and implied-weight implementations of parsimony. Using simulated morphological data, we demonstrate that the Mk-model...

Data from: Non-random latitudinal gradients in range size and niche breadth predicted by spatial patterns of climate

Erin E. Saupe, Corinne E. Myers, A. Townsend Peterson, Jorge Soberón, Joy Singarayer, Paul Valdes & Huijie Qiao
Aim. Tropical species are thought to experience and be adapted to narrow ranges of abiotic conditions. This idea has been invoked to explain a broad array of biological phenomena, including the latitudinal diversity gradient and differential rates of speciation and extinction. However, debate continues regarding the broad-scale applicability of this pattern and potential processes responsible. Here, we use a simulation approach to test two propositions: (1) strong geographic patterns of variation in realized niche breadth...

Data from: Digging the optimum pit: antlions, spirals and spontaneous stratification

Nigel R. Franks, Alan Worley, Max Falkenberg, Ana B. Sendova-Franks & Kim Christensen
Most animal traps are constructed from self-secreted silk, so antlions are rare among trap builders because they use only materials found in the environment. We show how antlions exploit the properties of the substrate to produce very effective structures in the minimum amount of time. Our modelling demonstrates how antlions (1) exploit self-stratification in granular media differentially to expose deleterious large grains at the bottom of the construction trench where they can be ejected preferentially...

Data from: Morphological innovation and the evolution of hadrosaurid dinosaurs

Thomas L. Stubbs, Michael J. Benton, Armin Elsler & Albert Prieto-Márquez
The hadrosaurids were a successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs. During the Late Cretaceous, 100 to 66 million years ago, hadrosaurids had high diversity, rapid speciation rates, and wide geographic distribution. Most hadrosaurids were large-bodied and had similar postcranial skeletons. However, they show important innovations in the skull, including disparate crests that functioned as socio-sexual display structures, and a complex feeding apparatus, with specialized jaws bearing dental batteries. Little is known about the macroevolutionary processes that...

Data from: A coalescent-based estimator of genetic drift, and acoustic divergence in the Pteronotus parnellii species complex

Liliana M Davalos, Winston C Lancaster, Miguel S Nunez Novas, Yolanda M Leon, Bonnie R Lei, Jon Flanders & Amy L Russell
Determining the processes responsible for phenotypic variation is one of the central tasks of evolutionary biology. While the importance of acoustic traits for foraging and communication in echolocating mammals suggests adaptation, the seldom-tested null hypothesis to explain trait divergence is genetic drift. Here we derive FST values from multi-locus coalescent isolation-with-migration models, and couple them with estimates of quantitative trait divergence, or PST, to test drift as the evolutionary process responsible for phenotypic divergence in...

Data from: Why does noise reduce response to alarm calls? Experimental assessment of masking, distraction and greater vigilance in wild birds

You Zhou, Andrew N. Radford & Robert D. Magrath
1. Environmental noise from anthropogenic and other sources affects many aspects of animal ecology and behaviour, including acoustic communication. Acoustic masking is often assumed in field studies to be the cause of compromised communication in noise, but other mechanisms could have similar effects. 2. We tested experimentally how background noise disrupted the response to conspecific alarm calls in wild superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, assessing the effects of acoustic masking, distraction and changes in vigilance. We...

Data from: Phenology of farmland floral resources reveals seasonal gaps in nectar availability for bumblebees

Thomas P. Timberlake, Ian P. Vaughan & Jane Memmott
Floral resources are known to be important in regulating wild pollinator populations and are therefore an important component of agri‐environment and restoration schemes which aim to support pollinators and their associated services. However, the phenology of floral resources is often overlooked in these schemes – a factor which may be limiting their success. Our study characterises and quantifies the phenology of nectar resources at the whole‐farm scale on replicate farms in Southwestern UK throughout the...

Data from: Circadian mood variations in Twitter content

Fabon Dzogang, Stafford Lightman & Nello Cristianini
Background: Circadian regulation of sleep, cognition, and metabolic state is driven by a central clock, which is in turn entrained by environmental signals. Understanding the circadian regulation of mood, which is vital for coping with day-to-day needs, requires large datasets and has classically utilised subjective reporting. Methods: In this study, we use a massive dataset of over 800 million Twitter messages collected over 4 years in the United Kingdom. We extract robust signals of the...

Data from: State-dependent judgement bias in Drosophila: evidence for evolutionarily primitive affective processes

Amanda Deakin, Michael Mendl, William J. Browne, Elizabeth S. Paul & James J. L. Hodge
Affective states influence decision-making under ambiguity in humans and other animals. Individuals in a negative state tend to interpret ambiguous cues more negatively than individuals in a positive state. We demonstrate that the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, also exhibits state-dependent changes in cue interpretation. Drosophila were trained on a Go/Go task to approach a positive (P) odour associated with a sugar reward and actively avoid a negative (N) odour associated with shock. Trained flies were...

Data from: The role of climate, water and biotic interactions in shaping biodiversity patterns in arid environments across spatial scales

Orly Razgour, Mike Persey, Uzi Shamir & Carmi Korine
Aim: Desert ecosystems, with their harsh environmental conditions, hold the key to understanding the responses of biodiversity to climate change. As desert community structure is influenced by processes acting at different spatial scales, studies combining multiple scales are essential for understanding the conservation requirements of desert biota. We investigated the role of environmental variables and biotic interactions in shaping broad and fine-scale patterns of diversity and distribution of bats in arid environments to understand how...

Data from: Assessing metabolic constraints on the maximum body size of actinopterygians: locomotion energetics of Leedsichthys problematicus (Actinopterygii, Pachycormiformes)

Humberto G. Ferrón, Borja Holgado, Jeff J. Liston, Carlos Martínez Pérez & Hector Botella
Maximum sizes attained by living actinopterygians are much smaller than those reached by chondrichthyans. Several factors, including the high metabolic requirements of bony fishes, have been proposed as possible body-size constraints but no empirical approaches exist. Remarkably, fossil evidence has rarely been considered despite some extinct actinopterygians reaching sizes comparable to those of the largest living sharks. Here, we have assessed the locomotion energetics of Leedsichthys problematicus, an extinct gigantic suspension-feeder and the largest actinopterygian...

Data from: Sediment-encased maturation: a novel method for simulating diagenesis in organic fossil preservation

Evan T. Saitta, Thomas G. Kaye & Jakob Vinther
Exceptional fossils can preserve diagenetically-altered biomolecules, and understanding the pathways to such preservation is vital to utilising fossil information in evolutionary and palaeoecological studies. Experimental taphonomy explores the stability of tissues during microbial/autolytic decay or their molecular stability through maturation under high pressure and temperature. Maturation experiments are often hampered by the fact that maturation occurs inside sealed containers, which does not allow for the loss of labile, mobile, or volatile molecules. On the other...

Denitrification and greenhouse gas emissions in natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems [LTLS]

S. Ullah & F. Sgouridis
Data comprise monthly field measurements of in-situ denitrification rates in different land use types of the Ribble Wyre and Conwy catchments. The data include greenhouse gas emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide), denitrification data (nitrogen and nitrous oxide) and soil properties data (nitrate, dissolved nitrogen, ammonia, bulk density, carbon to nitrogen ratio, dissolved organic carbon, moisture content, organic matter content, pH, temperature and water filled pore space). The research was funded by the UK Natural...

Data from: Analysis of morphological variability in the clam shrimp Eosestheria middendorfii (Crustacea, Spinicaudata) from the Lower Cretaceous of China, and its implications for spinicaudatan taxonomy

Manja Hethke, Franz T. Fürsich, Jacob D. Morton & Baoyu Jiang
Unresolved taxonomic issues regarding spinicaudatans, clam shrimps that formed the most abundant faunal element in the lacustrine Barremian to Aptian Yixian Formation, have hampered palaeoecological and evolutionary interpretations of this key fossil group. Here, we analyse morphological variability in East Asian clam-shrimp taxa by quantifying: (1) size and shape; and (2) ornamental features (radial lirae distances). Intergeneric variability was examined using 51 specimens of various East Asian Mesozoic taxa, 16 of which were chosen for...

Data from: Patterns of ecological diversification in thelodonts

Humberto G. Ferrón, Carlos Martínez-Pérez, Susan Turner, Esther Manzanares & Héctor Botella
Here we explore the spatial, temporal and phylogenetic patterns of ecological diversification for the entire clade of thelodonts, one of the earliest groups of vertebrates and longest lasting of the Palaeozoic agnathans in the fossil record. Parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods are used to reconstruct ancestral states of their geographical distributions, habitats and lifestyles. Our results support the concept that thelodonts originated during the Middle?–Late Ordovician probably in marine open waters of Laurasia, with a demersal...

Data from: The efficacy of consensus tree methods for summarising phylogenetic relationships from a posterior sample of trees estimated from morphological data

Joseph E. O'Reilly & Philip C. J. Donoghue
Consensus trees are required to summarise trees obtained through MCMC sampling of a posterior distribution, providing an overview of the distribution of estimated parameters such as topology, branch lengths and divergence times. Numerous consensus tree construction methods are available, each presenting a different interpretation of the tree sample. The rise of morphological clock and sampled-ancestor methods of divergence time estimation, in which times and topology are co-estimated, has increased the popularity of the maximum clade...

Data from: Losing cichlid fish biodiversity: genetic and morphological homogenization of tilapia following colonization by introduced species

Asilatu Shechonge, Benjamin P. Ngatunga, Rashid Tamatamah, Stephanie J. Bradbeer, Jack Harrington, Antonia G.P. Ford, George F. Turner, Martin J. Genner & Antonia G. P. Ford
Among the many negative impacts of invasive species, hybridization with indigenous species has increasingly become recognized as a major issue. However, few studies have characterized the phenotypic outcomes of hybridization following biological invasions. Here we investigate the genetic and morphological consequences of stocking invasive tilapia species in two water bodies in central Tanzania. We sampled individuals from Mindu Reservoir on the Ruvu river system, and at Kidatu on the Great Ruaha-Rufiji river system. We screened...

DECIPHeR model estimates of daily flow for 1366 gauged catchments in Great Britain (1962-2015) using observed driving data

G. Coxon, J. Freer, R. Lane, T. Dunne, W.J.M. Knoben, N.J.K. Howden, N. Quinn, T. Wagener & R. Woods
This dataset provides 100 model realisations of daily river flow in cubic metres per second (m3/s) for 1,366 catchments, for the period 1962 to 2015. The dataset is model output from the DECIPHeR hydrological model driven by observed climate data (CEH-GEAR rainfall and CHESS-PE potential evapotranspiration). The modelled catchments correspond to locations of National River Flow Archive (NRFA) gauging stations and provide good spatial coverage across the UK. The dataset was produced as part of...

Fossil microbodies are melanosomes: evaluating and rejecting the ‘fossilised decay-associated microbes’ hypothesis

Arindam Roy, Christopher Rogers, Thomas Clements, Michael Pittman, Olivier Habimana, Martin Peter & Jakob Vinther
Melanosomes are membrane-bound organelles of varying geometry, commonly found within a range of vertebrate tissues, that contain the pigment melanin. Melanosomes have been identified in the fossil record in many exceptionally preserved fossils allowing reconstructions of the coloration of many extinct animals. However, these microstructures have also been interpreted as “microbial cells” or melanin producing bacteria based on their geometric similarities to melanosomes. Here we test these two conflicting hypotheses experimentally. Our results demonstrate multiple...

Heliconiini butterflies can learn time-dependent reward associations

Wyatt Toure, Fletcher Young, W. McMillan & Stephen Montgomery
For many pollinators, flowers provide predictable temporal schedules of resource availability, meaning an ability to learn time-dependent information could be widely beneficial. However, this ability has only been demonstrated in a handful of species. Observational studies of Heliconius butterflies suggest that they may have an ability to form time-dependent foraging preferences. Heliconius are unique among butterflies in actively collecting pollen, a dietary behaviour linked to spatiotemporally faithful ‘trap-line’ foraging. Time-dependency of foraging preferences is hypothesised...

Detailed description of the new genus and speceis, Cretophengodes azari Li, Kundrata, Tihelka and Cai sp. nov.

Yan-Da Li, Robin Kundrata, Erik Tihelka, Zhenhua Liu, Diying Huang & Chenyang Cai
Bioluminescent beetles of the superfamily Elateroidea (fireflies, fire beetles, glow-worms) are the most speciose group of terrestrial light-producing animals. The evolution of bioluminescence in elateroids is associated with unusual morphological modifications, such as soft-bodiedness and neoteny, but the fragmentary nature of the fossil record discloses little about the origin of these adaptations. We report the discovery of a new bioluminescent elateroid beetle family from the mid-Cretaceous of northern Myanmar (ca. 99 Ma), Cretophengodidae fam. nov....

Data from: The effect of fossil sampling on the estimation of divergence times with the fossilised birth death process

Joseph E. O’Reilly & Philip C. J. Donoghue
Timescales are of fundamental importance to evolutionary biology as they facilitate hypothesis tests of historical evolutionary processes. Through the incorporation of fossil occurrence data, the fossilised birth-death (FBD) process provides a framework for estimating divergence times using more palaeontological data than traditional node calibration approaches have allowed. The inclusion of more data can refine evolutionary timescale estimates, but for many taxonomic groups it is computationally infeasible to include all fossil occurrence data. Here, we utilise...

Data from: Plant species roles in pollination networks: an experimental approach

Kate Pereira Maia, I.P. Vaughan & Jane Memmott
Pollination is an important ecosystem service threatened by current pollinator declines, making flower planting schemes an important strategy to recover pollination function. However, ecologists rarely test the attractiveness of chosen plants to pollinators in the field. Here, we experimentally test whether plant species roles in pollination networks can be used to identify species with the most potential to recover plant-pollinator communities. Using published pollination networks, we calculated each plant’s centrality and chose five central and...

Experimental investigation of insect deposition in lentic environments and implications for formation of Konservat-Lagerstätten

Qingyi Tian, Shengyu Wang, Zixiao Yang, Maria McNamara, Michael Benton & Baoyu Jiang
Terrestrial insects are often remarkably well preserved in lacustrine Konservat-Lagerstätten. However, the assumption that carcasses should sink fast through the water column seems to contradict evidence that this scenario is unlikely due to excessive buoyancy and surface tension. The mechanisms that promote rapid and permanent emplacement onto the sediment surface (RPESS) of such terrestrial animal remains are not fully understood. Here we use taphonomic experiments to show that floating in water, growth of microbial biofilms...

Processed InSAR images over Fentale Volcano, Main Ethiopian Rift

Tesfaye Tessema
This data set contains 119 unwrapped and geocoded inteferograms derived from Cosmo-SkyMed (CSK) SAR scenes aquired over the Northen Main Ethiopian Rift between June 2014 and December 2015. This data set also contains displacement time series derived from processed CSK and Sentinel-1 inteferograms at the locations specified in the accompanying README files.

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